Hopefully prioritizing the vendors you’ll need to book for your wedding doesn’t sound like a complete foreign concept. It may not be something you’ve considered in depth, but after getting engaged almost everyone naturally begins to think about the elements of their wedding day that are most important to them. It could be your wedding venue, the music the DJ plays at the reception, the fabulous cocktails that will be served, or your stunning wedding dress. Conversely, you may also begin thinking about the weddings you’ve attended and start making a little mental list of all the things you do not like, such as particular floral arrangements, wedding programs, or the cheesy group dances at receptions. Whatever the specifics are, you've likely begun thinking about them, and therefore without even knowing it, are already prioritizing the vendors you’ll book.
What I challenge you to do is take it one step further and actually assign a ranking to each vendor. I know, it sounds harsh, but it’s a necessary evil. It’s not a list you have to publicize or tell any of your vendors about. Actually, please, pretty please, don’t tell your vendors. Can you imagine meeting with someone for the first time and saying “Well, you’re ranked 10 out of 11 on our list, so… "? That will definitely hurt someone’s feelings. Consider this list as your first secret between the two of you as a soon to be married couple. Maybe share it with your wedding planner, too. Promise, I won’t judge … Unless you rank me last, of course ;)
The reason this list is so important is because it forces you to rank the middle cluster of vendors. The ones that you really haven’t put much thought into at all up to this point. It’s this ambiguity toward these areas that can sometimes make deciding which business to book so difficult, because you just don’t really know how you feel about their role in your wedding day. Does it really matter if we book Superior DJs instead The Greatest DJ? Do we want to spend $200 more on flowers or put it toward something else? Do I need a hair piece, veil, necklace, and earrings? Without having thought through and assigning a level of importance to each part of the wedding day, these types of questions will quickly become overwhelming as you move further and further along in your planning.
Take a look at the pictures below. Which one gets your attention and more importantly, your money? The cake, the flowers, or the meal? This is where your list comes in handy.
Use your list as a reference point.
As you begin saving ideas on Pinterest, and talking with other vendors, engaged couples, or newlyweds, it's very easy to get swept up in a new wedding trend. Suddenly you’re feeling like you have to incorporate these ideas into your day, even if it's something that was never really important to you before. When this happens, take out the list and remind yourself of the reasons you originally ranked a particular element how you did. This isn’t to say you won’t swap a few vendors around in your ranking as you plan, but it will keep you from falling into the trap of making every single element a priority. That’s how couples overspend. Reminding yourself that in order for something to move up the list, there’s a trade off, and something else has to move down the list to make it happen, will keep your spending in check.
Thrifty Events offers wedding planning, event design, and day of coordination services.
Candi Block, Founder & Event Planner
Midwest native with big-family roots, now newlywed, entrepreneur, and new home owner in the PNW. Love being involved in the community, crafting, creating, and Netflix binging.